Monday, September 28, 2009

April 2009 - Our litte house and more inside pics

Here's our little home away from home! (Wait - we take it with us, so it's not really away from home. It's just home!):

I know a lot of you are curious about how we stuff so much into this RV and don't suffocate under my fabric stash or kitten food or whatever. I took some pictures of various storage spots so you can get an idea of what it's like.

Here's my closet, all packed up (note sewing machine in bottom corner - it's tight in there!):

Under the sofa is also jammed with the following: yarn, quilts in progress, quilting hoop, fabric, foam stuffing, at least 1 cat. (Cat not visible in this picture):

Speaking of kitties, ours have taken to this lifestyle quite well. Poe has a blue collar, Loki is in the red. Here they are enjoying their first dinner in the new house (See? They look perfectly at ease!):

The Tale of The Poe Cave

Poe tends to be a bit skittish, and on the first night here at the campground we couldn't find him. We looked everywhere and I was starting to panic. I thought maybe he had found some escape route somehow and was out in the wilderness with the bats and feral cats and yes, wild pigs! After a few minutes of diligent searching inside the RV, Noel scrunches down into the passenger seat floorboard and, looking up at the bottom of the dashboard, asks me for a spatula. I go get one, totally confused at his request, until he jabs the spatula up into the dashboard. At which point we're rewarded with a low growl. Somehow, Poe has found a way INSIDE the dashboard of the RV! We try to get him out but with no luck, until Noel thinks to remove the tv which is situated in the middle of the dash. He takes it out, and we see this:

There are no open wires in the dashboard, no way for him to get outside of the RV, and he can come and go as he pleases into what we now call the Poe Cave. Scared me to death though, that night!

April 2009 - Moving in! And storage questions!

We moved into the RV at the very end of March. Lots of folks seem to have questions about storage, and how we live in such a small space (about 230 sq ft). First, we had to be pretty methodical about what we wanted to take and what to put into storage (and yes, we do have a storage unit with our furniture and such). Here we sorted out what we needed to take before moving into the RV, and left it in the floor for a few days so we could purge at will. As Coco Chanel once said, always take off one accessory before you leave the house. We figured that we might need to take off quite a few accessories before we left!

Here's a view of one of the under panels of the RV. These go along the bottom on both sides (a couple of them in the back actually go beam to beam, so to speak - they go across the entire width of the RV). In RV-Speak, this is called the Basement.

This is the dish cabinet, right above the sink. We got new dishes made of melamine so that if they fall out they won't shatter glass all over the place. It doesn't look like much, but you'd be surprised how much you can fit in there! (Also, yes, I do have glasses and cups and such, but wanted you to be able to see the inside - yeesh!)

Here's a pic of Noel's closet, so you can get an idea of how much you can fit into one. See? Not bad!

There's more space in one of these RVs than you might imagine. They manage to wedge storage into all kinds of spots - the space under the couch, a small pantry cut into a wall, etc. There are some changes to your lifestyle you have to make though:

1. No hoarding of canned food (Sam's Club membership will be cancelled)

2. Learn to purchase things that can multitask (such as chicken tenders and use that for every recipe that involves chicken of whatever cut).

3. Be realistic about how much dressy clothing you really need. Other than work clothes and daily clothes, we really only have very few dressy items and honestly haven't needed them all that much.

4. Recipes that use common ingredients (and preferably only about 4 of them) are the best. Also? Love you, 1-dish dinners!

5. There's no need to make a ton of something because you really don't want to fill up your freezer space with 18 gallons of homemade chili. If you do, later you won't have room to store your lasagna, and that is indeed a tragedy.

One day we were discussing how the RV lifestyle is different from normal life, and came up with this maxim:

You must live deliberately.

Not a bad maxim for life in general, I guess, but especially for this type of living. What do I mean? Well, as most of you know, I'm a crafty type. I love to sew, for example. If I wanted to sew in my old house, it would proceed as so:

1. Go into sewing room.

2. Make large mess.

3. Tire of sewing.

4. Leave large mess in floor and go make peanut butter sandwich.

5. Go back to sewing room days later and resume making mess.

Now, things are different. If I want to sew in the RV, it looks more like this:

1. Decide to sew.

2. Get sewing machine out of my closet.

3. Get sewing box out of other closet.

4. Get fabric out of under-couch storage spot.

5. Set up sewing machine on table.

6. Set up iron and "ironing board" (ie. towel on top of cutting board) on kitchen counter.

7. Set up cutting area on couch or bed, depending on where cats are asleep.

8. Sew.

9. Tire of sewing.

10. Realize that if I want to do anything at all in the living room/dining room/kitchen area, I must put away mess.

11. Put sewing machine, iron, cutting equipment, and fabric away in respective places.

12. Drink wine.

See? Suddenly this whole sewing thing takes a lot more forethought and dedication, because frankly, if I'm going to go through all the pain of getting all that crap out, I damn well am going to sew for a while.

Also? I can't leave yarn out everywhere. First, it would be underfoot all the time. Secondly, the kitties would eat it. So that's also been an adjustment. But not a bad one! Because it forces me to actually focus on one project at a time! Very good!

Next up, pictures of the campground and our setup!

March 2009

Hello readers! We're taking this show on the road.
I wanted to go back - flash to the past a bit - because we weren't able to announce anything about our plans. We've been living on the downlow in our RV for months now. So! I'm going to do some monthly updates here, so that you can get a feel for how our lives have been going, living in an RV full-time and working and looking forward to living on the road.
To start off, we bought our used RV from a nice man a few hours away from Savannah. It's a 1992 National Seabreeze RV, 33 feet long. It only had about 55,0000 miles on it, and runs on gasoline. Don't ask me anything else more specific - I can't help you. It' blue stripes. Ok! Enough technical talk.
Here are some photos to get everyone started. Here is our RV before we moved in, in March 2009:
Cockpit and part of the living room:
Dining Room/Office/Sewing Room:
Kitchen (it's a gas oven/stove and a microwave above):
Bathroom sink/Shower/Closets (the longer mirrored closet is mine - Noel has one the same size on the other wall):

It's interesting to see how much storage you think you have, until you start shoving stuff into various closets/drawers and then realize that no, you don't need 12 shirts (hopefully) because there just isn't room. This is also good motivation to lose weight. Really. Because with smaller clothes, more will fit!
The surprising thing we've found though, is that you really don't need nearly as much as you think you will. I have clothes in my closet that I haven't worn yet, after 6 months!
Stay tuned! More to come!